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Rescuing Ranu Paperback – April 2, 2009

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From the Author

The theme underscoring Rescuing Ranu is altruism. Whom do we rescue, and how related must we be to want to - i.e. how many cousins are worth one brother?  The following are questions for discussion:

  • · Ashoke is related to Nela, and yet he betrays her. Mami exploits Ranu, but later helps Nela to save her. Why? The child's deformity serves as a symbol. Of what?
  • · Although Nela and Jackson do not plan to stay together, they marry in order to get Ranu to safety. Would you consider this a purely altruistic act?
  • · Jackson sacrifices his personal happiness with Nela because the village needs him more than she, and Nela puts her child's needs ahead of her own. What's the cost/benefit ratio of their decisions?
A recurring motif in Rescuing Ranu has to do with flocking behavior. Nela's flight from, and return to, the places she regards as home mimic the choreography of a murmuration of birds, and give rise to the questions:   
  • · Is the bird in front (Nela) leading, or being chased? In which instances?
  • · Were you surprised that Nela would take Ranu back to India, after sacrificing so much?
  • · Why is Nela happier in India this time? What part does her lingering shame (discussed in Shiva's Arms) play? Jackson's sincere support of her work?

About the Author

Cheryl Snell's other books include a debut novel, Shiva's Arms (The Writer's Lair Books), and the poetry collections Flower Half Blown (Finishing Line Press), Epithalamion (Little Poem Press), Samsara (Pudding House), Prisoner's Dilemma (Lopside Press), Multiverse (GOSS),. In addition, she and her sister, artist Janet Snell, make chapbooks for Scattered Light Library, most recently Warped Passage and Live Through This.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1st edition (April 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144213254X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442132542
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,596,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cheryl Snell's books include novels and poetry. Published widely online and in print, she won the Lopside Press competition for Prisoner's Dilemma, and has had work included in a Sundress Best of the Net Anthology, The Centrifugal Eye Anthology, and other anthologies. She is a multiple Pushcart Prize nominee, and plays a mean classical piano.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sheila Deeth VINE VOICE on December 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
"How can we tell whether a bird is being chased or leading?" asks Nela, trying to analyze the motion she sees in the sky. Author Cheryl Snell leads her readers to view the world through different eyes in this intricate novel, Rescuing Ranu, and her story is a delight to follow.

Flying home from India, Nela sits next to a westerner on the plane and muses on math and the importance of seeing someone's eyes. Sitting together in a car, two mathematicians smile, "You iterate and I converge." Mathematician that I am, I'm hooked. But lyrical descriptions of Indian tradition are equally enticing, and pages pass in a fire-fly dance of otherness, belonging and story.

The author conveys the passion of mathematical mystery just as beautifully as that of love, and opens the worlds of university, India and mathematics to delightful scrutiny. But Jackson and Nela don't just come from different geographical places. The mystery of family ties and separation fuel their relationship too, and Nela's relationships with her future, job and students.

Particularly impressive is the author's ability to include Indian words and concepts without need for obvious explanation. Images flow naturally and vividly with powerful emotions. The scene shifts; one leads, one follows, and in India little Ranu flits, sometimes young, sometimes old, on a path that skirts disaster. Perhaps love plots the turning shape of the graph.

In the end, a story that starts on one part of a circle ends on another, but the circle's the same, unbroken despite the distance it lies across. Nela completes her best work, and hope and story survive.
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